Dusshera is an important part of Indian festivity. And it is largely celebrated in different parts of the country. The festival of Dusshera is not only a grand celebration that indulges Indians, but it also interests many foreigners to visit India during Dusshera.
This festival has a great influence on Indian tradition and culture. Therefore, in this article, we will give you a general introduction to this festival, including different questions such as what does Dussehra festival signifies and the history behind this celebration.
What is Dusshera?
The day of Dusshera is marked as a win of good over evil. The festival of Dusshera is also known as Vijayadashami in some parts of India. It is celebrated widely and in an extravagant way among the Hindu community of India.
This festival is celebrated after navratri and before Diwali. It is also called Vijayadashami, which marks the end of nine day-long celebrations of navratri. After 20 days of Dusshera, Diwali is celebrated every year all over India. According to the Hindu calendar, it is observed in the months of Ashwin and Kartik. It glorifies the victory of Aryan Deity Ram over Non-Aryan king Ravana. And it is also important to know what does Dusshera festival signifies.
History of Dusshera
There are mainly their legends behind the festival of Dusshera.
- The killing of Ravana- According to the Hindu epic Ramayana. The non-Aryan king of Lanka, Ravana, kidnapped Sita, the wife of the Aryan king of Ayodhya, Ram while they were in vanvas. To rescue his wife, Ram attacked Lanka with the help of a troop of monkeys. After a long battle, he defeated Ravana by beheading him. This ritual is followed in Dusshera when people dressed as Ram and Laxman burn the effigy of Ravana every year.
- The killing of Mahishashur- Another legend about Dusshera talks about the tyrannical Asur king Mahishashur. After earning a boon from Brahma, he attacked the gods to establish his authority over three worlds. As no god could kill Mahishashur, Tridev created a goddess with ten arms, Durga. Goddess Durga fought with Mahishashur disguised as buffalo for nine long days. And the tenth, when she defeated him, is known as Vijayadashami, the victory of good over evil.
- Return of Pandavas from Agyatvas- According to another Hindu epic Mahabharata the return of the sons of Pandu, also known as Pandavas, from Agayatawas was marked as Dusshera. The Pandavas went to vanbas accompanied with a year of agyatvas for losing in the game of Chaucer with their cousin brothers Kauravas. On the last day of agayatwas, the Pandavas went to help the Virat king to rescue his cattles from Kauravas. They took back their weapons for A Shami tree to defeat their brothers. Thus, the Shami tree plays an important role in Dusshera. Therefore, the leaves of the plant are considered very auspicious.
What does the Dusshera festival signify?
The primary significance of Dusshera is to mark the universal truth of good or positivity’s win over evil or negativity.
The Dusshera or Vijayadashmi signifies the victory of good by burning the ten-headed Ravana, an individual who represents 10 negative traits of humans such as Vasna (lust), Krodha (Anger), Lobh (Greed), Moha (Delusion), Mada (over pride), Matara (jealousy), Budhi (Intellect), Ahankara (Ego), Chitta (Will).
Also, the Myth of Mahishasura killing, where the killing of different demons by devi Durga signifies fighting against the negative traits of humans to attain enlightenment of the soul. The qualities such as Ignorance, selfishness, lower state of mind, egoism, pride, etc., are represented by the Dhumralochan, Shumbha- Nishumbha, Raktabeej, Chung, Mund, Mahishashur, and other demons.
What is the Importance of Dusshera?
The Importance of Dusshera in Indian culture and traditional values is immense. And by closer observation and understanding, one can find its strong influence on the beliefs and values of the country’s people. The major influence of Dusshera in Indian culture is the establishment of the universal fact that says the victory of good over evil.
The celebration of Dusshera teaches people that the negative or bad actions/ evil karma always attracts bad results, as what had happened to Mahishashur, Kauravs, and Ravana.
Also, the celebration of Dusshera influences the morals of the natives as they strongly believe that staying on the right path of honesty, truth, and justice will bring positive results in life.
And the Vijayadashami talks about winning over our negative traits like Anger, Pride, lust, and greed to achieve spiritual enlightenment and the main purpose of life. It also greatly influences the value system of the people of the Hindu religion.
The Celebration of Dusshera in Indian culture is hugely and extravagantly observed every year in September and October. And different people from different regions come together to celebrate this occasion grandly. Therefore, questions like what does Dusshera festival signifies or the Importance of this festival helps people to understand the roots of Hindu culture and its ancient traditions on a deeper level.